You like to take your loved ones with you when travelling, don’t you? So how about travelling with pets? Sadly, doing it is a little bit harder than just taking your favorite human for a ride. That’s why Skycop has collected some tips and tricks for taking your cat or dog on a flight.
1. Book early
Planes aren’t made of rubber, so airlines have a fixed amount of carrying space in their cargo holds. That’s why you need to ensure that your pet gets a ticket and doesn’t stay due to cargo overbooking. Besides, some airlines might have regulations on what breeds can fly. Usually, it’s the short-nosed breeds (think pugs and the like) that can’t travel due to being easy prey for respiratory tract issues.
2. Book your vet as well
Pets can catch all sorts of “exciting” illnesses and diseases – doubly so when they’re beset by all sorts of new infectants and stresses when travelling. So get your pet appropriately vaccinated before you go out, and obtain a health certificate that’s dated no more than 10 days before the trip. This should make getting your pet through the border control a breeze.
3. Get yourself a pet passport
Pet passports were rolled out as a measure to allow ease of entry for pets coming to the UK from European countries. This has spread to other places as well. What the passport does is collect all the necessary documentation for your pet in one place. Details on the passport can be different from country to country, so check it online, but it cuts down on the red tape massively.
4. Buy a carrier
Your pet can’t travel wrapped in some bubble wrap with a felt-tip name written somewhere on it. You need to get them a carrier – and you probably already have one. If you need one, check for whichever is the most recommended for travel (as opposed to a short journey to the vet). It also depends on whether you’ll be taking the carrier aboard (which means checking whether it will fit according to the airline regulations) or leaving it in the cargo hold (in which case a hard shell is a must). Oh, and you can definitely use a marker to write down your pet’s name on the carrier; that’s actually helpful!
5. Choose your flight very carefully
So, travel is stressful for your pets, no matter which way you cut it. And stopovers put them in even more stress since they get to experience loading-taking off-flying-land-offloading multiple times. You should probably avoid that. You should also avoid travelling during the parts of the year that boast the most extreme temperatures (for obvious reasons) or during the days of high traffic (when airline employees have the least amount of time to care for your pet).
6. Food and water
Make sure not to feed your pet 4-6 hours before the flight, as that might cause more complications during the flight. You can definitely give them water, though! And when it comes to handing off your beloved pet at the airport, leave the bowls in the carrier empty; that way, you’ll avoid messes, but also provide a way to feed the pet if there are flight disruptions. A trick is to leave some ice cubes in a bowl, so it won’t splash around during loading and provide a gentle trickle of freshwater for a longer time.
7. Say not to cat drugs
You may feel like it’s a good idea to give your animal tranquilizers or sedatives before the flight. You’d be wrong. Drugs can cause health issues during the flight, to the point where some airlines will refuse to carry tranq’d animals. If you must, use all-natural pet calmers to make them less nervous, but not sedated. You can keep the good stuff for yourself.
Hopefully, this will make your pet’s flight as smooth as possible. But even then, an airline can ruin it with flight disruptions. Flight delays, cancellations and overbookings can seriously ruin your pet’s (and your) day! So why not claim flight compensation with Skycop? You can claim up to €600, which is enough funds for all sorts of freaky high speed-low drag, smart material, AI-designed squeaky toys from Kickstarter!